Hardik Pandya has suddenly emerged as India’s go-to six hitter during the middle overs, someone who can take the attack to the opposition and ease off the pressure during a steep chase.
His skills have been on display since the Champions Trophy where he came in at number 6 and just whacked the bowling around the park, but in this series, the Indian Team management have sent him in at number 4 for the second time now, in an attempt to up the ante during the middle overs.
And Pandya has responded brilliantly until now, playing with a steady head on his shoulders, and not over cooking his aggression.
He led India to a victory in the last game and is playing an instrumental role in shaping tonight’s victory as well.
Steve Smith took a gamble by throwing the ball to Zampa, as he wanted Pandya to get lured into Zampa’s flight and maybe give away his wicket. But Pandya was up to the task, weighing his opportunities and identifying the balls that he wanted to deposit into the stands.
Zampa was tossing it up, inviting Pandya to hit the big shot, and Pandya obliged big time, hitting one of the most breathtaking sixes you’ll ever see.
Zampa was occasionally bowling it short, trying to hurry Pandya, but Pandya brought out the short arm jab to help the ball soar over the mid-wicket boundary.
Check out the video here:
The next ball was tossed up wide and Pandya unleashed a booming cover drive that went deep into the stands.
India are on course to chasing the mammoth total and will be hoping that at least one of these can stay there till the end.